CAGS in Reading Education

The Reading Education program prepares teachers, specialists, clinicians, and consultants to expand their understanding of reading and writing acquisition and development and to apply this knowledge to assessment and instruction. The program admits both full- and part-time students. Full-time students must enter in the fall term.

This program is approved for licensure as a Specialist Teacher of Reading in Massachusetts, and it will also qualify candidates for Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) endorsement. Although a teaching license is required for admission to the program, teaching experience is not. However, students who complete degree requirements prior to completing one year of full-time teaching must later meet this requirement to be eligible to apply to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for licensure as a Specialist Teacher of Reading.

Varied career opportunities await degree recipients. Many graduates seek positions as general education classroom teachers, where their expertise in reading and writing assessment and instruction enables them to provide exemplary instruction to students of all performance levels. Others use their newly acquired depth of knowledge to specialize in literacy assessment and instruction. In this case, degree recipients meet requirements for positions as reading and literacy teachers, specialists, and coaches.

Program Requirements

Coursework includes the study of theory and research related to the acquisition and development of reading and writing, as well as evidence-based practice and analysis of assessment and instructional materials, professional development, leadership, and coaching.

The program also includes practicum experiences in each semester of study, providing opportunities for situated practice from the outset. One of the practicum experiences occurs on Saturday mornings in the Donald D. Durrell Reading & Writing Clinic (RWC) at Boston University, where students work as literacy tutors under the supervision of Wheelock faculty and an RWC coach to tutor an individual or small group of students. Tutors learn to work closely with their students’ classroom teachers, thereby increasing the coherence of the instruction students receive in their in-school and out-of-school programs. In addition, tutors work with their students’ parents to co-construct at-home practices that cohere with and support the students’ experiences in the RWC.

The second practicum experience occurs in a field-based school setting, which allows students to extend the understanding and experience they develop in their tutoring practice by working with individuals or small groups of children in school settings. As part of this experience, students also shadow a school-based literacy specialist to deepen their understanding of principles and practices related to school leadership, coaching, and professional development.

Capstone Project

In addition to the coursework required for the master’s program, CAGS candidates must complete a capstone experience. This will require students to identify and present a solution for a problem of practice in literacy that is deemed to be significant within a school or community setting.

Coursework (40 credits)

Fall Semester (18 credits)

  • TL 520 Teaching English Language Learners (4 cr)
  • LS 627 Critical Analysis of Children’s and Young Adult Literature (4 cr)
  • LS 762 Literacy Acquisition and Development: Addressing Strengths and Needs (4 cr)
  • LS 763 Field Experience in Literacy Education: Clinical Interventions (2 cr)
  • LS 790 Literacy Assessment to Inform Instruction (4 cr)

Spring Semester (18 credits)

  • LS 690 Classroom Discourse (4 cr)
  • LS 764 The Roles & Responsibilities of the Literacy Specialist: Leadership, Coaching, Teaching (4 cr)
  • LS 792 Teaching Adolescent Readers and Writers (4 cr)
  • LS 793 Field Experience in Literacy Education: School-Based Interventions (2 cr)
  • RS 600 Introduction to Research (4 cr)
  • LC 900 Independent Study (to support completion of capstone project) (4 cr)